Several Hope College projects have received grants from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC).
A total of 12 projects from Hope received funding from the consortium through its 2015-16 grant period. The awards to Hope projects, which total more than $48,000, include seven fellowships for students conducting collaborative research with members of the faculty, three “seed grants” for faculty research, and two program awards for Hope initiatives focused on pre-college and teacher training. The awards to the college were out of the total of 24 undergraduate fellowships, 11 research seed grants and 11 program awards made to all recipients.
Hope will provide additional support for each of the projects, including stipends for the students as they conduct research during the summer, and matching funds for the faculty and institutional projects.
The students receiving fellowships were: freshman Josiah Brouwer of Byron Center, who will work on “Light Curve Fitting for Normal and Millisecond Pulsars” with Dr. Peter Gonthier, professor of physics; freshman Brandon Derstine of Beaverton, who will work on “Making red-shifted BF2-azo dye monomers for polymeric photomechanical materials” with Dr. Jason Gillmore, associate professor of chemistry; junior Jennifer Fuller of Beverly Hills, who will work on “Investigation of Lake Michigan Coastal Dune Mobility” with Suzanne DeVries-Zimmerman, adjunct assistant professor of geological and environmental science, and Dr. Ed Hansen, professor of geology and environmental science; junior Jessica Gaines of Sterling Heights, who will work on “Development of a Neuron Model to Predict Electrically Stimulated Sensation” with Dr. Katharine Polasek, assistant professor of engineering; sophomore Nicholas Olen of Midland, who will work on “Photomechanical Materials for Printing Technologies” with Gillmore and Dr. Matthew Smith, assistant professor of engineering; and junior Benjamin Van Gorp of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, who will work on “A Comparative Study of Open, Migrating versus Stabilized Dunes in the Lake Michigan Coastal Dune System” with DeVries-Zimmerman.
The three faculty who received seed grants are: Gillmore, for “The Synthesis of Red-Shifted Azobenzene Dye Monomers for Incorporation in Photomechanical Materials”; Dr. Jonathan Peterson, who is the Lavern ’39 and Betty DePree ’41 Van Kley Professor of Geology and Environmental Science, for “Determining the Occurrence and Character of Oxide Nanoparticles in Natural Waters in a Multi-Land Use Watershed”; and Dr. Justin Shorb, assistant professor of chemistry, for “Establishing Validity of a Novel Eye-Tracking Data Analysis Method for Chemistry Education Research and Its Application to the Evaluation of Online Chemistry Teaching Materials.” The grants are designed to position the recipients to earn support for their research from other sources in the future.
The program-award support for pre-college science experiences was awarded to Susan Ipri Brown, instructor of engineering, and Dr. Eric Mann, assistant professor of mathematics. Hope’s Center for Exploratory Learning will coordinate both programs.
Ipri Brown is the faculty lead for “STEM Academies and Workshops on Air Quality Monitoring,” which is engaging middle and high science classes in collecting and analyzing data related to air quality in the area using sensors at locations such as their homes and schools. The project is in five schools this year and will expand under the grant. The Holland/Hope College Sustainability Institute is partnering to support community events related to the project.
Ipri Brown and Mann will both be working with initiatives through the “Engineering the Future Summer Academies,” continuing a program established two years ago in partnership with the Muskegon Area Regional Math and Science Center. Through the awards, Hope STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students expand the use of engineering design in high school classrooms through a combined teacher professional development/ week-long summer academy for underrepresented students.
The Michigan Space Grant Consortium, which is part of the National Space Grant Consortium, seeks to foster awareness of, education in, and research on space-related science and technology in Michigan, and is part of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. Hope and Calvin College are the only undergraduate colleges that are members of the consortium, which also includes Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.